chaos at fc ak
FC AK coach Ali Akan yesterday revealed that he will not be on the bench when Bahumi engage Bay United in the first leg of the National First Division final at Eldorado Park Stadium this afternoon.
The 48-year-old Turkish coach is expected to tender his resignation before this crunch tie after accusing management of interfering in his job.
It will be a blow for Bahumi to play such a tricky match without a coach who has been with them throughout the season.
"I'm a professional and I will never allow club officials to dictate to me who to play," fumed Akan.
"As the head coach I'm the one who should be responsible for team selections. I decide who should be in the starting line-up and who should start on the bench. I have reasons for my decisions. I have been wondering why these guys are appointing coaches because they can be coaches themselves."
FC AK's manager Khwezi "Meneer" Masondo refused to comment on Akan's outburst, saying they were focused on today's clash. Assistant coach Thomas Kojo will probably be on the bench.
Bahumi go into today's encounter knowing exactly what a slip-up will do to their ambitions of promotion to the Absa Premiership. The latest development surrounding Akan could scuttle their hopes.
United host the second leg of the final in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
Both matches start at 3pm.
While Akan, known for being media-friendly, refused to shed light on their preparations for this crunch encounter, some of his charges were nevertheless hopeful of claiming their first win of the play-offs at home this afternoon. This after home turf counted for nothing when they were held 1-1 by Premiership returnees Maritzburg United and Dynamos held them to a goalless draw.
"The results of those two matches could turn out to be a motivational factor for us against Bay United," said midfielder Mark McVeigh. His second goal against Dynamos in Polokwane on Sunday fired Bahumi into the final of the showpiece. That goal has certainly motivated him for today's clash.
Nhlanhla Sithole, the side's central midfielder, was equally confident.
"What has pushed us to be where we are is because we play a collective brand of football. We will continue to do that," he said.
The club could not confirm whether their influential skipper Charles Yohane and Irvin Namaseb will be fit to play today. The duo did light training yesterday. Players who could prove dangerous to Bahumi on the day are Luntu Mazana, Gareth Ncaca and Johannes Segalo.